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8:00 P. M.
Tree Identification Contest for pupils of Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and High School Grades, Savannah SchoolsConducted by J. S. Holmes, Chapel Hill, N. C.
Motion Pictures of Wild Life-Louisiana Department of Con
Announcement of Prize Winners.
SIXTH SOUTHERN FORESTRY CONGRESS HELD AT SAVANNAH, GEORGIA
JANUARY 28-30, 1924.
The Sixth Southern Forestry Congress was called to order by the President, Mr. Bonnell H. Stone, of Blairsville, Ga., at 10:00 A. M., January 28th, in the Municipal Auditorium, Savannah, Ga. After an invocation by Dr. S. B. McGlohon of St. Paul's Church, Savannah, the Mayor, Hon. Paul E. Seabrook, gave a cordial welcome to the Congress. "You have wisely selected Savannah as the place of this meeting," he said, “as she is known as the Forest City of the South. We have centered here, as you know, many activities that depend on the raw materials of the forest and you will find here ready sympathy and willing cooperation in the advancement of everything looking to the protection and conservation of the raw materials on which we here are so dependent. You know, no doubt, that Savannah is the premier Naval Stores port of the world. Her lumber interests are also extensive, and there are other activities that are dependent on the raw material that we get only from the forests."
In his reply to the Mayor's courteous words of welcome, Colonel Joseph Hyde Pratt, President of Western North Carolina, Inc., and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Congress, spoke in part as follows:
Colonel Joseph Hyde Pratt, Asheville, N. C.: The restoration of the Naval Stores Industry, or perhaps I had better say the increase of the Naval Stores Industry, in Georgia is of such importance to Savannah that every man, woman and child in the City and surrounding sections should be asking what can I do to bring this about. The Port of Savannah is largely dependent upon the Naval Stores Industry and no one thing that the City of Savannah and the State of Georgia can do tc reëstablish the importance of the Port of Savannah will be giver greater results than to build up the Naval Stores Industry.
The first step towards this is for the State to pass adequate legislation for the protection of the forests of Georgia from fire.
The question of re-forestation is being agitated throughout the whole country but no State is in a position to undertake or even to consider re-forestation until legislaion has been passed that will insure the protection of the forest from fire. Reforestation is necessary not only for the Naval Stores industry, but to insure the South of an adequate supply of lumber. Through the investigations of expert Foresters of the U. S. Forest Service it has been determined that not only can the long leaf pine be reproduced in Georgia and other Southern States, but that the Slash Pine which is a more rapid growing tree than the Long Leaf Pine and almost equal in its turpentine product, can be grown successfully in the South.
The coöperation of the Federal Government in acquiring large areas of land in the South for the production of timber which are designated as National Forests should be an incentive for the State to acquire areas for State Forests to be used for the same purpose. The Federal Government has already acquired 1,500,000 acres of land in the Southern States for National Forests. Of this amount 360,000 acres are in North Carolina, and during 1923 there were disbursed amongst the Counties of North Carolina, in which National Forest areas occur, sums of money representing 25 per cent of the income of the National Forests which was equal to approximately the property tax of the County on the land area in the County at an assessed valuation of $5.00 per acre. This is the promised income in lieu of taxes.
The following communications were then read.
LETTER FROM PRESIDENT COOLIDGE TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
THE WHITE HOUSE
My dear Colonel Pratt:
November 13, 1923.
It is a matter of sincere regret to me that I am unable to attend the meeting of the Southern Forestry Congress to be held at Savannah next January. This organization has undertaken a most commendable public
enterprise in awakening the people of the South to the value of their forest resources and in bringing them together for mutual counsel to the end that these resources may be perpetuated. I am informed that the Southern Forestry Congress has been identified with most of the progressive developments toward forest protection and reforestation which have been launched in the Southern States during recent years; and that its recurring sessions have become clearing houses for the discussion of public and private developments in forestry, thus rendering an admirable service both to your own region and to the entire Nation. It is scarcely necessary for me to emphasize the importance of reforestation in the United States. The American people came into the possession of the greatest wealth in virgin timber with which any people in the history of the world was ever endowed. Our unstinted use of our forests has made us dependent upon their products in agriculture, manufacturing industries, and living standards to a degree that is not paralleled elsewhere in the world. But, because we have not as yet learned to grow timber in any degree commensurate with our use of timber, we find ourselves confronted with an approaching shortage of raw forest materials.
The necessity of moving aggressively toward the growing of timber both as a public activity and through the encouragement of private reforestation is probably greater in the States covered by the Southern Forestry Congress than in any other portion of the Union of comparable size. With an aggregate area of forest land or potential forest land in excess of 220 million acres, with a remarkable variety of valuable forest trees, and with climatic conditions exceptionally favorable to the growth of timber, it is not wide of the mark to say that this region contains more than half of the future wood producing resources of the United States. A large portion of the forest land of the South has already been cut over. In many sections you are experiencing the exhaustion of the original supplies of virgin timber, the moving out of sawmills, and the consequent loss of industry and population. You are face to face with the problem created by enormous areas of denuded and idle land. In the economy of the South itself and in the economy of the entire country, it is imperative that the portion of these areas which is unsuited for agriculture shall not remain land without a crop.
The development of practical ways and means for securing timber growth is a matter of the highest importance which should more and more enlist the efforts of our national and state governments and of our citizens. Consequently, I can but wish God-speed and the largest measure of success to the Southern Forestry Congress.
Very sincerely yours,
(Signed) CALVIN COOLIDGE.
Col. Joseph Hyde Pratt, Chairman
Southern Forestry Congress,
Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Let me express through this letter my very real appreciation of your invitation to be with the Southern Forestry Congress at its meeting in Savannah this month, and also my profound regret because I am not able to do this.
Although I shall not actually be with you I need not say, I hope, that I am heartily with you in your aims and purposes. To my mind, the Southern Forestry Congress is performing a very real, a very necessary, and a very vital service not only to the South but to the entire country.
So far as the forestry situation is concerned, this country has but little time to delay before applying remedial measures. We have danced overlong to the tune of "Endless Resources," little realizing that the piper must some day be paid. We have reduced our original 822,000,000 acres of virgin forest land to less than 138,000,000. This land is being cutover now at the rate of about 10,000,000 acres yearly.
It would seem bromidic indeed to say today, especially to such a gathering as this, that forest land is one of our basic national resources and that our national welfare depends upon its productivity. Yet the fact that from a quarter of a century to more than a century is required to mature the forest crop has a significance that is neither widely nor deeply realized. Shortages in forest-grown material cannot be rectified in a season or two like shortages in wheat or cotton. If the people of the United States wait until the injury to social and industrial wellbeing for lack of wood crops is overwhelming, the loss in time before any remedy could be made effective would create little short of a national disaster.
In furthering tree growth on a national scale it must be realized that an obligation rests upon the public to reduce the forest hazard by legislation and by policy functions directed at the origin of forest fires, and also to assist land owners in the cost of fire control and fire suppression. The public has a very specific obligation to adapt the taxation of forest growing land and what it produces to the reasonable requirements of an undertaking which requires for its harvesting more than a quarter of a century.
The results of treating our timber as a mine rather than as an everrenewable crop has been to leave 81,000,000 acres of forest land largely barren, 250,0000,000 acres that are only partially productive, and each year add to these from 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 acres.